The 2020 standard monthly Medicare Part B (physicians and related services) premium will be $144.60 for most enrollees, an increase from $135.50 this year. Those with annual taxable incomes above $85,000 for single filers and $170,000 for joint filers also pay surcharges that range from $57.80 to $347 a month.

The Part B annual deductible is rising by $13 to $198, and the average monthly premium for Part D prescription drug coverage (which only some federal retirees choose because it largely duplicates what is covered under FEHB plans) is falling on average from about $33 to about $30 a month.


In Part A, which covers hospitalization and related costs, the deductible will rise from $1,364 to $1,408 for the first 60 days, and proportionate boosts also will apply to the additional deductibles for longer periods.

Meanwhile, the IRS has announced that the maximum that federal employees (but not retirees) can put in health care flexible spending accounts will rise for 2020 by $50 to $2,750. FSA elections (a dependent care account also is available, with the maximum remaining $5,000) for 2020 must be made during the federal benefits open season that continues through December 9; those elections do not automatically carry over from one year to the next, in contrast to FEHB and FEDVIP elections.

Also, the maximum tax-free amount allowable under the public transit subsidy program is rising from $265 to $270 a month.

See also, Federal Commuter Benefits (Transit Subsidies) at ask.FEDweek.com

Policies vary among agencies and among locations within agencies, in some cases as set in labor-management contracts. Some pay a subsidy in the form of passes or vouchers purchased by the agency and others allow employees to reduce their pre-tax income by an amount equal to their transit or van pool expenses up to the maximum. The much-less-used tax-free benefit for parking at a transit subsidy is rising in the same way.

More on flexible spending accounts – FSAs at ask.FEDweek.com